How to Treat Crying and Colic in Babies

Coping with a colicky baby can be terribly difficult for parents. Remember that colic is common and it won't last forever. It starts at approximately 3 weeks of age and is usually gone by the time a baby is 3 months old.

Call Doctor If:

1. Start With the Basics

  • Change your baby's diaper.
  • Offer your baby the chance to nurse or a bottle.
  • Use a pacifier.
  • Burp your baby.
  • Hold and rock your baby, or use a swing or bouncer if your baby is old enough.
  • Make sure your baby is not too hot or cold.
  • If breastfeeding, can try to cut down on milk, spicy foods, citrus, and caffeine in your diet. However, colic is usually not related to anything mom has eaten.

2. Shift Positions

  • Hold your baby facing down with your hand under her belly and her head on your forearm. It's called a football hold.
  • Put your baby in a wearable carrier.
  • Swaddle your baby in a blanket or swaddling wrap.

3. Move

  • Put your baby in a baby swing or take her for a walk in a stroller.
  • Put your baby's chair next to (but not on) a vibrating washer or dryer. There are also vibrating soothers that come in the shape of a stuffed animal or a wand. These can be placed near baby or in the lining of a car seat.
  • Put your baby in a car seat and drive, as long as you are awake enough to drive safely.

4. Use Soothing Noises

  • Use an app that produces white noise -- or a vacuum or fan -- in your baby's room.
  • Sing or make a shushing sound directly into your baby's ear.

5. Take Breaks

  • When possible, ask your partner or another family member to take a turn with your baby.
  • Don’t get burned out. When you need to, put your crying baby down and take a break in another room for a few minutes to recharge.
  • You may want to talk with your pediatrician about probiotic supplements or feeding changes to help with colic,
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on September 10, 2019


SOURCES: "Colic." "Calming a Fussy Baby."

Karp, H. TheHappiest Baby on the Block, Bantam Books, 2002.

Murkoff, H., Eisenberg, A., Hathaway, S. What to Expect The First Year, Workman, 2003.

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